As consumers of Tamil cinema, this subject has been itching our souls for a while now – the Kollywood Tamil film industry. Hence, we decided to make this a topic of interest on #FoodForThoughtFridayByNT on our Instagram and Facebook music pages, “Neshah and Thusha”.

The foundation of the Tamil film industry is a beautiful language, culture, and talented people who have made a mark in history. However, we feel that Kollywood has so much potential to better itself to be more attractive, competitive and true to the audience that enjoys it most.

To begin, many modern day Tamil films include English content. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, at times it feels forced. Quite frankly, it is also often grammatically incorrect – which leads to frustration and the recurring question of why this is even being included in the first place.

What if Kollywood focused on the Tamil language instead. Isn’t that why we are watching a Tamil movie? If we wanted to watch a Hollywood movie, we would’ve done so.

Next are the actors and actresses who represent this industry. In today’s age, we have such a wide representation of what beauty is and what it looks like. So why isn’t this reflected in the Tamil film industry?

Why is it that only extremely fair women are cast for the “beautiful girl” role. Why is it that when darker women are cast, they are only fit to play the “village girl” or the less pure and cynical characters when the general Tamil population is not so impeccably fair? What does this say to the average Tamil woman? What does this say to people of other ethnicities who tune into Kollywood movies?

It doesn’t seem to be a problem to cast darker men to act alongside fair women. In some parts of the world, people still believe in sexist ideas that degrade women based on immutable factors such as skin tone. That is not to say that these actors and actresses aren’t talented or don’t deserve to be in the industry. Rather, there should be a greater representation of what Tamils actually look like.

Now let’s take a look at the common “damsel in distress” roles that actresses typically play in Kollywood films. At one point, women were shown to need more saving than they actually did. Why? Because women weren’t given the chance to showcase their abilities and prove they were capable of saving themselves.

Again, times have changed. Today’s world accepts that women are also bosses, that women can also go out and conquer any field similar to a man. One isn’t better than the other – we are all human.

It may be possible that Kollywood isn’t aware of this change. Perhaps they believe that audiences enjoy watching women being pampered and saved on screen. It’s nice to watch male saviours when the context is appropriate. Yet if this is all that is shown to us the majority of the time, we are left with little choice of what to watch on screen.

Why are women commonly portrayed as submissive to men? Why does gender equality get confused with being part of “foreign culture”? When reading historical Tamil literature, equality is not really as “foreign” of a topic as Kollywood often portrays. Didn’t Bharathiyar outline the Puthumai Penn? How did that aspect of Tamil culture vanish?

With that being said, how about the content of Tamil movies that come out? Why aren’t there enough storylines on real people, real situations and real expectations? Why are we continuously watching violent movies portraying sexist ideas that are of no use to modern society? Why don’t we focus on valuing women and talking about issues in the world, issues real people face – and of course good humour, romance and fun.

We are tired of being deprived of entertainment – the lack of representation, the meaningless songs, the perverted jokes and predictable storylines. We are tired of opting out of Tamil movies.

By no means is this to bash the Kollywood industry, or to say that this is all it is capable of producing. There are quite a few movies that break out of the mold, and there’s definitely more that we want to see.

Without a doubt, there is a steep hill to climb. But we hope to see the revival of a rich, talented, strong and impactful industry – an industry that has the potential to sprout and produce movies that do justice to how beautiful Tamil culture really is and what it stands for and express this to the world.

Entertainers do what they do for audiences like us, so we are the ones who have to speak up. If you can relate to what we have to say, share this article on your social media and join us in this stand.

Let’s shed some light on an issue that hasn’t been discussed enough. When is learning, improving and growing ever a bad thing? #ReviveKollywood #FoodForThoughtFridayByNT

Related articles:
Why I Stopped Watching Tamil Movies
The Portrayal of Women in Tamil Cinema: Part 1
6 Films Kollywood Should Make

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Neshah and Thusha

Neshah and Thusha

We are Neshah and Thusha, a passionate sister vocal duo, who go by the motto for something more than music. We truly believe that music is an empowering form of art, which can positively impact others and our surroundings. We publish covers on our social media platforms, Instagram and Facebook, and full videos on our YouTube Channel, all of which can be found under "Neshah and Thusha". Follow our pages and subscribe to our channel to tune into our weekly covers, musical journey and other initiatives!

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31 thoughts on “#ReviveKollywood

  1. Good article. However, you have to understand that Tamil movies are low-brow because the global population of Tamils is mostly low-brow.
    Most Tamils in the world aren’t the SL Tamil Western-educated diaspora, capable of critical thought and rational thinking.
    Most Tamils in the world are poorly educated semi-literate village peasantry. The number of sophisticated educated urbane Tamils is a drop in the bucket.
    Kollywood churns out the same derivative lowest common denominator masala flick because that’s what appeals to the common masses and makes the money in Tamil Nadu.
    Until the quality of public education goes way way up, don’t expect Citizen Kane or Bridges of Madison County anytime soon.

  2. What do you expect? Foreign & alien Aryans from the sunless & tanless West invaded the highly sophisticated & peaceful indigenous Indian Dravidian Indus Valley Civilisation with terror about 4,500 years ago.It has been downhill ever since for all Dravidians including the Tamils on their lands with the tanning & cancerous glorious Dravidian sun since pre-history, at least about 80, 000 years. You only have to look at similar invasions over the last 500 years in the Americas, Australia, & New Zealand. The end effect on their cinema is the same. Foreigners & aliens dominate the indigenous Americans, Australians, & New Zealanders.

  3. What? that makes no sense at all. Wht does education have to do with picking a girl that’s most representative of her community, in this case dark skin, tamil speaking actress, with a tamil storyline. If education is the problem then how come most tamil movies are adopting to english? Movie titles are in english. Some songs are in english now days as well. heck they even copy Hollywood. You wud think that a dum low brow tamil wouldn’t be able to relate? So ye its not that they are dumb buh tamils have a problem with self hate. We always wanna look like the others, talk like the others. I think u don’t wan to acknowledge that u grew up watching mostly sexist and almost racist entertainment. So u blame the poor powerless tamils haha.

  4. Most Tamils in the world are poorly educated semi literate village peasanty? I beg to differ. Yes, there is a bigger srilankan tamil diaspora because of the obvious reason ; civil war BUT clearly you’re generalizing the fact that besides them, the other population of Tamils are semi educated/ live in the village. Tamil Nadu is one of the states w the highest literacy rates in India. And many Indian Tamils who’ve migrated abroad are CEOs of MNC’s, Dean’s , Distinguished Professors and so on. These are just a small example. There’s a shitload of indian Tamils doing well abroad.

  5. This is not the fault of the producers and directors. It is the fault of the audience. The audience prefer masala movies. It is very rare to see movies without songs and dances. The audience cannot think anything beyond this.

  6. Most Tamil movies are garbage, most Tamil female actors don’t represent reality. These movies don’t need any critical thinking to watch.

  7. Because tamil movie industry occupied by Illuminati telugu and kannada people….
    They are representing them

  8. Both Sean and Doss James should rather educate themselves before putting their foot in it. U0001f633U0001f633U0001f633what utter rubbish!!! South Indians specifically tamilians are highly literate and educated people. The movies are not glamorous cause they show the real issues happening in India. Also , Rajnikanth is one of the most respected actors in all of India. When was the last time Doss saw a Tamil movie? Say something if you know what you are talking about. Otherwise you come off badly.

  9. Sean Velayuthan come to SA please and then find the Tamils here , since we the biggest global population out of india , we mostly english based , but our academic and professional development is far from low-brow.
    Yes tamil movies are sub par , and thus leads to low global appeal , something as simple as subtitles would help but for the shear scale of productions its not that bad.

  10. It’s good Tamil girls are not preferred by Kolywood, you should see what these fair skinned women from other states have to do to get their gigs via #suchileaks. It’s not a glamorous job, its worse than gutter. Keep out of Kollywood.

  11. Don’t forget to get rid of the terrible fight sequences…get better choreography instead of the mandatory hip gyration and yeah…stop casting these grandfathers with young women..its really sick. #Honesty Miss good tamil movies.

  12. I believe this study was done on Public school students who receive poor quality education. Most families send their Kids to english medium schools which are far better than the public schools. Though I personally believe the syllabus used in Tamil Nadu needs a complete change.

  13. I had the same view as Doss until I heard a director’s reply in an interview. The question was .. Why Tamil movies are not focussing on issues in India/ Tamil Nadu to educate the public. His answer will enlighten Mr Dobbs. He said they have focussed on every issues… Politicians, kidnapping, police brutality inside and outside the stations, sacrifices of soldiers , teachers, women’s right etc etc. he said they even focussed on the most recent newspaper articles. He said , the public response was not encouraging all the time. It is a well known fact that inspite of various film cities created outside Chennai, it is still the film capital of The South.

  14. About literacy in Tamil Nadu, they have the highest percentage of students completing primary education in India( India today survey). They have produced more internationally recognised scholars than any other state in India. They have taken Indian culture to more countries outside India than any other groups in India. Please don’t attack them

  15. I for sure know a lot of Tamil people ..from the Village who are educated and working in my country. .south Africa as engeneers. .for India owned company. .CRI pumps…
    I say never discriminate of judge people. ..we are all Humans. .

  16. Ahilan Jeyaraman ji olarittu poraan vidunga. Indha janthu ah ellam madhichu namma tension aana adhu namakku asingam :p

  17. So one guy fighting a mob and withstanding a machete blow to the wrist is realism?
    This cinema has a niche and it’s niche is making money in a certain kind of way. Hollywood does the same thing. However their audiences are split between different genres.

  18. So one guy fighting a mob and withstanding a machete blow to the wrist is realism?
    This cinema has a niche and it’s niche is making money in a certain kind of way. Hollywood does the same thing. However their audiences are split between different genres.

  19. Our market is not feasible to have SA movies but a lot of new Indian movies are shot in SA

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